Raw Rice - Cooked Rice

Raw Rice - Cooked Rice

3 mins

Kalpana: Adarsh, Good Morning!!!

Me: Good morning.

Kalpana: I Hope you are having a great day.

Me: Yes.

Kalpana: I have a task assigned to you.

Me: Please tell me.

Little did I knew back then that I would undergo several stages of transformation of being raw rice followed by soaked rice and finally cooked rice in the corporate life. My first campus recruitment offer as a Management Trainee made me land in cloud nine. I happened to join a retail agricultural commodities management services organization on April 1, 2015.

May 14, 2015: My final day at work with tears rolling down my eyes and moving out of the HR cabin not realizing my mistakes, all happened in a flash of time. A voluntary resignation letter and the termination letter were placed on the table. Kalpana, Head HR of the retail wing in the company who was 5 feet 3 inches tall, sharp-eyed, and having the domain expertise of 8 years asked me to pick one. All my dreams were dead even before taking birth.

Going back in time... Rishab and Mounika who were my juniors along with Vinay and I were rolled out offer letters emails mentioning the same date of joining. With happiness index crossing country Bhutan statistics, four of us started our journey to the well-built city Chandigarh to attend a two-week training program on April 16 by Rajadhani Express, my first official off from the Hyderabad city. With lots of excitement and researching on the tourist spots of Chandigarh, we planned to have a great time. I had a grin on my face knowing the fact that people I admire the most listening to their success stories are from Chandigarh. Milkha Singh, Kapil Dev, Abhinav Bindra, Sachin and Binny Bansal, Yuvraj Singh, Ayushman Khurana, Neerja Bhanot... are few jewels that the city had produced.

We had been informed that the travel and accommodation expenses should be initially borne by self and will be reimbursed in the monthly salary via oral communication. Having seen a couple of fraudulent job offer letters from RBI, Air India, and Godrej in my mailbox by then I wanted to be extra vigilant to take care that the communication has to be in writing. As a preconceived right, I believed in seeking an answer from the HR Dhanush, Country Head. I still remember the composed look on his face. I was adamant in getting the mail communication. Corporate Lesson 1: corporate communication comes with a timeline. Wait for it. Dhanush was a simple short man with a protruding tummy resembling a smiling panda. I'm just 4 years younger than his corporate expertise of 18 years. I was 22 then.

My leadership definition back then was confined by taking a step ahead in raising a common question for the benefit of everyone with "You owe me an answer" tone. Dhanush understood me. He responded as an HR answering politely. Corporate Lesson 2: Learn to respond but not react. Off late I was educated on open-ended questions and closed-ended questions. Realized, I was answering vice-a-versa all through the period.

Having spent a great learning time during the training and exploring places like a rock garden, rose garden, Sukhna Lake, Pinjore gardens, and street food we were back to the city of opportunities, Hyderabad.

On a bright sunny Thursday morning, I reached the office. The task was assigned as a final test to check whether I could finish it without questioning. Kalpana handed me a plate of raw rice and asked me to separate stones from the rice. Holding a master's degree and standing in the role of a management trainee, this task sounded very silly and insignificant. She had given me a chance to correct my mistakes but I failed to do it by questioning, "Why?"

It has been 6 years by now I'm working in the corporate and this story of raw rice is still close to my heart as I'm cooked rice now.

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